Workers and Soldiers Council Organized in Portland
Topics Marxism -- United States
, revolutionary socialism
, Socialist Party of America
, Communist Party of America
, Bolshevik revolution
, workers' councils
, Portland Soviet
, Portland Workers and Soldiers Council
, Oregon history
, Harry M. Wicks
, H.M. Wicks
"Workers and Soldiers Council Organized in Portland."
Publisher 1000 Flowers Publishing
Book contributor Tim Davenport ("Carrite")
Collection folkscanomy_politics; folkscanomy; additional_collections
Published in The Oregon Socialist Party Bulletin [Portland], vol. 8, no. 1 (Jan. 20, 1919), pg. 1.
Published in USA prior to 1923, public domain.
While the organization of "Soviets" in Winnepeg and Seattle in association with general strikes in these cities are remembered as major historical events, less widely noted is a short-lived effort to establish a Soviet in Portland, Oregon.
This article from the monthly publication of the Socialist Party of Oregon reprints a solicitation letter written shortly after the Jan. 9, 1919 formation of the "Portland Council of Workers and Soldiers" over the signatures of the organization's "Temporary President," Harry M. Wicks (later of Proletarian Party and Communist Party fame) as well as its Recording Secretary, Joe Thornton of the Street Railway Men's Union.
Although decked out in bright red revolutionary bunting, the modest main purpose of the organization seems to have been to provide a mechanism for the integration of returning soldiers into the labor movement and to thereby avoid the growth of right wing "patriotic" organizations and strikebreaking. The entity itself seems to have generally resembled a city central labor council, with all unions entitled to representation on the basis of 1 delegate for every 100 members in good standing, or major fraction thereof.
Only a very few meetings of this stillborn organization were held.
Uploaded to Archive.org by Tim Davenport ("Carrite") on March 13, 2014. Non-commercial reproduction permitted.